By Rachael Bouley
On Friday, January 8, 2022, over 400 people gathered on the Xavier Prep campus to watch 1999 alumna Kathryn Hackett King be installed as a Justice to the Arizona Supreme Court, a first for Xavier graduates.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced her appointment in July 2021, and Justice King is only the fifth woman in state history to serve in the esteemed position.
Xavier’s president, Sister Joan Fitzgerald, BVM, gave the invocation for Justice King. Family, friends and her high school community stood by in support. The audience heard remarks from Chief Justice the Honorable Robert M. Brutinel, Ducey, Christine Burns, Esq., U.S. District Court Judge Michael Liburdi, and Anita Hackett, King’s mother.
“It was a very proud day for Xavier. Reflecting on her success in high school, she was in a perfect place to draw upon her leadership and intellectual abilities all through those days,” said Fitzgerald. “She has maintained that through her service in the community and the field of law. Kathryn is another success story about a woman who has taken advantage of her education and her gifts to make her mark on the world and help others.”
After graduating from Xavier, Justice King attended Duke University, earning a Bachelor of Arts with a major in political science and a minor in history before getting her law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law.
She joined numerous boards and committees as she remained dedicated to community service, which was instilled in her throughout her time at Xavier. Justice King was a student-athlete, ambassador and award winner in high school, receiving the school’s highest honor at graduation, the Regina Caeli Award for Service.
Justice King served as a law clerk for Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael Ryan and as deputy general counsel for Governor Ducey. She was also a law partner at BurnsBarton and a regent on the Arizona Board of Regents [the governing body of Arizona’s public university system that provides guidance to ASU, NAU, University of Arizona and their branch campuses].
The Supreme Court’s primary judicial duties are to review appeals and to provide rules of procedure for all the courts in Arizona. It is the highest court in Arizona and is often called the “court of last resort.”
Seven justices serve on the Supreme Court for a term of six years.